Just a sprinkle of snow but an avalanche of good news for social business!

As a Bolton and Greater Manchester based Social Enterprise, SWY is committed to empowering people to make a positive difference and doing business with integrity, especially in our local communities. We are passionate about doing business fairly and profitably, treating customers and colleagues with respect they deserve in all that we do.

Whilst we are only three years old we are really proud of what we have achieved! Whether it’s getting people back on track through our support services, giving someone who has been out of work the chance of a decent job in our environmental team or our commitment to paying the Real Living Wage, we know we are making a difference every day! There is so much we can do and we are excited and ambitious as we develop budgets and plans for a new financial year ahead.

But this week has not been about our SWY “one team”, its been much bigger than that!

We only had a sprinkle of snow this week but it has been an avalanche of good news for social business in Bolton and Greater Manchester!

So what’s new you might ask…

  • Greater Manchester Housing Partnership launch “Buy Social Directory”:
    We are thrilled to be included alongside a raft of brilliant businesses making a difference to communities in Manchester! Massive thanks to GMHP Social Value partners for creating the directory which will make it easier for Housing Partners and others to find and buy from ethical and socially responsible businesses.

You can search it here or even better add yourselves, or your favourite social business to the list by completing the online form!

Sign up or search here!

  • Social Investment Funds for Greater Manchester:
    Working with Greater Manchester Community and Voluntary Services team, teams from four GM Boroughs (Bolton, Oldham, Stockport, Wigan) have been selected as one of six national places to receive £25million in social investment loans, grants and infra-structure investment to grow the social and cooperative economy! The funds from Local Access and Big Society Capital will help raise awareness, develop and provide access to business loans not just in the four partnership boroughs, but across the GM City Region.
    SWY is delighted to be a partner in the Bolton team and will be working over the coming months to shape our plans to build a movement for Social Business in Bolton!
    More here….
  • GMCA Mayor Launches Advisory Panel on Social Enterprise:
    The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has invited a group of 15 social entrepreneurs and business leaders to help shape the city regions economic plans in a way that enables “social enterprise and cooperatives to thrive”. The group will work with the Combined Authority and the Mayor over the next year to make sure our sector is a critical and active part of Greater Manchester’s economy for the future. This is a massive of opportunity for social business and Greater Manchester is one of the few areas in the country to recognise the role of our sector in how our economy will grow.
    I am delighted to have been asked to join the panel and will be working hard to bring as many views and voices to the discussion as possible!
    More here…
  • Greater Manchester Good Employers Charter Launch:
    As if there wasn’t enough, it was a pleasure to attend the GM Good Employers Charter Launch at the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday evening and to see so many businesses getting involved in being better bosses! For SWY the Charter is the perfect opportunity to formalise, recognise and improve on the work we do to make sure we are the best employer we can be. Our staff are our business, so as a signed up “supporter” of the Charter we look forward to working through the 7 principles and hope it won’t be too long before we can achieve “member” status too!You can find out more about the commitments we will be making and how you can get involved here.

Finally, don’t forget Bolton Social Business Collective Get Together is happening next Wednesday (5th February) from 5 – 6.30pm at Courtyard36, Little Bolton Town Hall. Hosted by the fabulous @Boo1977 the focus is on supporting you to develop plans and set goals for the coming year! Maybe we can make some plans for our collective too!

Don’t miss out, book your place here or check us out on facebook.

I am so excited to be part of an amazing community people and businesses working to support and grow social business so we can all do so much more. You are all incredible and we have exciting times ahead!

If you would like to know more about SWY or our involvement with all the great news in this blog please contact us through our contact page.

Energy Advice

Energy Advice

Our energy advice service is a free and impartial service, aimed at making homes more energy efficient and reducing bills.

Our fully trained energy advisors can:

  • Check customers current energy bills and support them to switch to the best supplier and tariff
  • Offer practical advice and tips to save money on energy bills

For any further information about our Money or Energy Advise services, please contact:



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Motiv8: Building Better Opportunities for Greater Manchester

Motiv8 transforms lives by helping people overcome the challenges and barriers they face to get back on track.

By improving wellbeing, confidence and employability skills, we can increase your chances of accessing training or finding a job.

We can help if you:

  • Are aged 25 or over
  • Live in Greater Manchester
  • Are not in education, training or employment
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK
  • Have multiple support needs

The programme works by developing a personalised action plan and tailored support package to address your needs. These might include:

  • Health problems
  • Mental Health issues such as anxiety, depression or isolation
  • Disabilities
  • Substance misuse
  • Homeless or at risk of being homeless
  • Domestic abuse
  • Past offences
  • Financial hardship

To view some Motiv8 success stories visit https://www.motiv8mcr.org/success-stories

Contact Motiv8

To find out more or to request a referral form:

Funders and Partners

Motiv8 is funded by £14 million from The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme.

Motiv8 is led by Manchester Athena, a partnership of housing providers working together to transform people’s lives. As a subsidiary of Bolton at Home, Starts with you deliver Motiv8 support in the Bolton and Wigan area.

It is being delivered across the whole of Greater Manchester by the following housing providers:

The programme will support over 5,000 people to overcome multiple, complex needs and move them closer to training and work.

Motiv8 is also working with a wide-range of specialist providers and external partners and agencies who can provide you with specialist support to help you overcome your barriers and challenges.

Community Research

Community Research

Our Community researcher co-ordinates and administers research projects on behalf of Bolton at Home. They collect and analyse data, allowing Bolton at Home to further understand their tenants and make informed decisions about services and future initiatives. All our work carried out is clear and transparent as to the subject and purpose of data collection, and our researcher ensures they adhere to protocols in relation to data protection and confidentiality.

Research is conducted by:

  • Completing telephone surveys with Bolton at Home customers and / or other residents
  • Completing face to face interviews with Bolton at Home customers and / or other residents
  • Leaflet delivery within the Bolton area

For any further information please contact:

IT Training & Digital Inclusion

IT Training & Digital Inclusion

Our basic IT training is the first step in improving IT skills and helping people to use the computer more independently. This service is delivered in UCAN centres throughout Bolton with a focus on job search, financial inclusion and social connections.

Customers can learn:

  • How to use a computer
  • Online basics – using search engines and email
  • Office programmes – creating documents
  • Internet skills – Social media, online shopping
  • Online safety
  • How to find a job online
  • Improving your health – accessing health services and information
  • Managing money
  • Public services – help navigating government websites
  • Bespoke support for older age groups

For any further information please contact:

Barrier Busting & In work Support

Barrier Busting & In work Support

The Barrier Busting and In work support service was designed and developed in response to growing demand and is currently being delivered throughout Bolton UCAN centres.

The service aims to help people to overcome their barriers to employment, including:

  • Confidence building
  • Positive Attitudes to job seeking
  • Identifying areas for personal development
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Skills development
  • Solutions and goal setting
  • Support with bridging the gap between benefits and employment
  • CV writing and career advancement

In work support includes:

  • Telephone mentoring
  • Employer relations
  • Information and signposting
  • Up to 6 months practical support

Our staff have access to a network of partners who can offer further support if needed. Barrier busting sessions have supported nearly 300 customers in just over 15 months.

For any further information please contact:

Welfare, Debt and Money Advice

Welfare, Debt and Money Advice

The Welfare, Debt and Money Advice team offers free, impartial advice on a wide range of money matters. We support our customers through face to face meetings to take control of their finances and improve the way they manage money. Our advisors are fully qualified CertMap members and we are accredited by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We support our customers with:

  • Preventing and prioritising debt
  • Debt counselling
  • Benefit calculations and support with applying
  • Advice on moving from benefits to employment
  • Access to templates and information.
Statutory Inspections

Statutory Inspections

Our trained staff carry out statutory building inspections on 56 properties including community buildings, offices and residential blocks. The type of inspection can vary from building to building, but our staff ensure that the purpose and frequency of the checks remains the same.

Checks include:

  • Fire Alarm Testing / Fire Door checks
  • Purging of Little Used Outlets – water hygiene
  • Lift REM Testing
  • Visual inspections of defibrillators
  • Disabled Toilet Cord Test
  • Refuge testing
  • Emergency Light Inspections
  • First Aid Inspection
  • Fire Extinguisher Inspection
  • Fault recording
  • Maintaining report logs

For any further information please contact:

Facilities Handy Person

Facilities Handy Person

Our Facilities Handy Person works across departments within business customers to support and assist in all aspects of property maintenance and management. They provide services ranging from minor repairs, to arranging removals and manual handling of office & home furniture to and from relocation site.

For any further information please contact:

Caretakers and Mobile Caretakers

Caretakers and Mobile Caretakers

We provide a caretaking service in extra care units and under one roof schemes throughout Bolton. Our caretakers carry out internal and external maintenance to ensure that communal areas are clean, safe, easily accessible and fit for residents to enjoy. All caretakers are fully trained in all aspects of health and safety including Coshh, Legionella, Sharps and infection control.

Caretakers also provide extra help by doing small practical jobs to make the lives of the residents easier and safer around the home, helping them to live independently and avoid slips, trips and falls.

These jobs include:

  • Small jobs – curtain poles, shelves, moving white goods
  • Safety measures – fitting smoke alarms, grab rails, light bulb replacement
  • Furniture assembly

For any further information please contact:

Following the Prime Ministers statement on the 9th May SWY have been reviewing the guidance in order to implement a COVID Secure Strategy and Action Plan to help us deliver accessible services whilst protecting the safety of colleagues, customers and the public.

Our plans are currently with colleagues for consultation and will be published here, in the meantime should you need details of our plans please contact us; hello@startswithyou.org.uk.